Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) was a French artist and one of the most influential painters in the development of modern art. Paul Cezanne is known for deftly bridging the gap between impressionism and cubism. Cézanne’s painting style was characterized by his use of bold, simplified forms and a subtle, muted color palette. He was interested in the relationship between form and color, and he often used geometric shapes to construct his compositions. Now, in this content, we will provide information on the interesting features of The Card Players, the world-famous work of Paul Cézanne.
Recommended For You – 8 Famous Impressionist Painters and Their Masterpieces.
8 Things You Should Know About Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players
1- The card players are a series of 5 paintings.
The Card Players is a series of five paintings by Cézanne, all completed between 1890 and 1895. The paintings were created in his later years, when he was living in isolation in his home in Aix-en-Provence, France.
Each of the five paintings in the series features two or three figures sitting around a table, engaged in a game of cards. The figures are depicted in Cézanne’s characteristic style, with solid, geometric forms and a muted color palette.
The paintings are notable for their composition, with the figures arranged in a shallow space and the tabletop and objects on it tilted upward as if seen from a high angle.
The color palette used in the paintings is muted and subdued, with a focus on earth tones like browns, greens, and grays. The figures are depicted with solid, geometric forms, which would become a hallmark of Cézanne’s style.
2- Paul Cezanne often depicted everyday life.
The paintings depict peasants playing cards, a subject that Cézanne returned to several times throughout his career. He was interested in capturing the essence of ordinary, everyday life in his art.
3- Courtauld Institute of Art in London
The paintings are now held in the collections of various museums and private collectors around the world. The most famous version, which is held by the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, is considered one of the most valuable paintings in the world.
This version features two figures, with one man wearing a blue shirt and the other man wearing a hat. The table between them is covered in a simple, patterned cloth.
Recommended For You – The 10 Best Art Museums in the World
4- The painting is reminiscent of 17th-century paintings but with a Paul Cezanne twist.
Despite the resemblance to 17th-century paintings produced by Dutch artists, it’s more likely that he was inspired by a painting of card players by the Le Nain Brothers. These French artists of the Baroque era painted a work that hung in Aix-en-Provence in the late 19th century.
There’s only one difference with the Dutch paintings which is the fact that they weren’t portrayed as a jolly bunch playing cards or in a moment of intense drama as the game unfolds. Paul Cézanne depicted the players in deep contemplation, staring at their cards without even looking at each other.
The painting series is widely regarded as a triumph of Cézanne’s mature style and has been celebrated for its ability to capture the quiet dignity of ordinary people. The paintings remain a favorite of art lovers and scholars alike and continue to inspire artists around the world.
The Card Players is considered an important precursor to the Cubist movement in art, which would emerge in the early 20th century. Cézanne’s approach to depicting form and space influenced many artists who came after him.
5- The largest painting of The Card Players series features the most figures.
The largest painting is the most complex in the series as we can see both a man standing in the background who is watching the game and smoking a pipe and a woman sitting behind the card players.
These figures made the overall composition asymmetrical which is potentially the reason why he removed them in the final 3 versions of The Card Players.
6- Did Paul Cezanne depict real people?
It is believed that Paul Cézanne may have used real people as models for the figures in the painting series, but there is no definitive proof of this.
Some art historians have suggested that the figures were based on people from the Aix-en-Provence area, where Cézanne lived and worked, while others believe that they were simply composites of different people that the artist observed.
Cézanne was known for his meticulous approach to painting and often spent long periods of time studying his subjects before committing them to canvas. However, he was also interested in capturing the essence of ordinary, everyday life in his art, and may have used his observations of different people as a way to create a more universal representation of peasant life.
Regardless of whether or not the figures in The Card Players were based on real people, the series is widely regarded as a triumph of Cézanne’s mature style and has been celebrated for its ability to capture the quiet dignity of ordinary people.
7- Paul Cezanne made several preliminary sketches.
Paul Cezanne produced a large number of preparatory sketches and drawings to complete this remarkable series of 5 paintings. Over a dozen of these were made, quite a number.
Cézanne was known for his slow, meticulous approach to painting, often taking months or even years to complete a single canvas. He would frequently rework his paintings, building up layers of paint and adjusting the composition as he went along.
These drawings include local farmers and are believed to have been produced at a tavern in Aix-en-Provence. It’s fairly certain that he subsequently used these sketches to produce the final paintings rather than having the models sit for them.
8- One painting of the series was sold for a record price.
A painting from The Card Players series by Paul Cézanne was sold for a record price in 2011. The version that sold is one of five known paintings in the series, and it is widely considered to be the most important of the five.
The painting in question, which features two card players, was sold by the estate of Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos in a private sale to the royal family of Qatar for a reported $250 million.
This is the equivalent of approximately $290 million today and was the highest price ever paid for a painting until that time. This record wasn’t broken until 6 years later with the sale of Salvator Mundi, a presumed Leonardo da Vinci painting, that was sold for $450.3 million on November 15, 2017.
Recommended For You – The World’s 10 Most Valuable Paintings in Museums.